Managers of successful businesses do more than simply find a way to make money and sell stuff. Not only do they handle the day-to-day tasks of selling, they also think of the big picture and make decisions that will get the company to where it wants to go. This is called strategic decision making, where decisions are made according to a company’s goals or mission. This type of decision making guides the choices that are made, aligning them with the company objective. It requires out-of-the-box thinking as managers need to consider future scenarios that may or may not happen. It’s these scenarios that will determine in which direction a company will go.
For example, the manager of a dog food company notices that dog owners want more quality and fresh foods rather than kibble that lasts 10 years on the shelf, even if those kibbles provide a similar nutritional value. The company’s mission statement is to be the best company that sells the healthiest dog food. To align the company with the changing needs and wants of its customers, the manager decides to shift the company’s products to focus more on freshness. Yes, this means a reduced shelf life, but it does mean a higher profit margin because dog owners are more than willing to pay more for fresh quality foods.
The biggest part of strategic decision making is the company’s mission. It’s the mission that guides the types of goals the managers will set for the company.
For example, if the dog food company’s mission was to be the number one supplier of cheap dog food, then using fresh ingredients wouldn’t be top of its priority list. Instead, finding cheaper ingredients, with a longer shelf life, would be more in line with that mission. See how the decisions can vary so drastically based on the company’s mission?
Having a company mission actually helps you in your strategic decision making. Without it, you have no guidance. But with it, you know what direction you should take your thoughts and actions.